This hearty tomato, pancetta and chickpea soup has everything you need to get you through winter.






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  • oil, for cooking
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 thick slices pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 g (14 oz/1⅔ cups) tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 g (14 oz/1½ cups) tinned chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed and drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley or basil
  • pesto, to serve (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat a large heavy-based saucepan over medium–high heat. Add a splash of oil and the onion, carrot and leek and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

Add the pancetta and cook for 4–5 minutes until golden brown. Add the paprika and garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes, or until fragrant.

Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Season with the salt and pepper, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15–20 minutes.

Add the chickpeas, check the seasoning and finish with the chopped herbs. Delicious with a dollop of pesto and crusty bread.


Recipe from What’s For Dinner by Michele Curtis. Published by Hardie Grant Books.